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Family Goal Setting for the New Year



Setting goals is important to me and my family. Each January, we sit down at the kitchen table (or dining room table if my clutter is covering the kitchen table) and develop personal and family goals.

But before we look forward, we spend time reviewing our goals from the previous year. The person who accomplished the most goals wins our coveted “Achiever Award.” My daughter, who completed 4 ouf 5 of her goals, was the 2012 champion. She revelled in our applause and did a victory lap around the table (complete with princess wave). I love it when my children achieve their goals. Not only does it give them a sense of accomplishment, but it also boosts their self-esteem and helps them to appreciate the value of hard work.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do everything I set out to do in 2012. Although I was disappointed by my performance, it motivated me to do better in 2013. I decided to kept my personal goals simple for 2013:

  • Write 1st draft of book
  • Learn to code
  • Improve my videography skills
  • Grow and expand my business
  • Work out consistently
  • Improve my Spanish fluency

This year, I started a journal to chronicle my progress. The challenge for me will be to document my successes and failures on a consistent basis. In addition, I have also secured a couple of mentors and accountability partners to help me press on when things get a bit difficult.

After my wife and I completed our goals, we urged the kids to set goals that were challenging and a little outside of their comfort zones. For example, my 5 year old will ride his tw0-wheeler, my 9 year old son will develop a plan for his own business, and my 11 year daughter will get into the symphonic band.

Next we brainstormed a few family goals and settled on these three:

  • Daily family devotion
  • Take a road trip to Missouri and South Dakota (we love to travel)
  • Learn the difference between want and need (we have decided to live a simpler life and learn to be more grateful)

After we were done, my daughter typed our goals on colored paper and framed them. We plan to post them in our bedrooms, on the mantel in the kitchen, and on the refrigerator door. It is important for us to keep the goals visible so we don’t lose focus.This process of setting goals together has helped our family to grow closer and has taught us the importance of putting in the work to make those goals a reality.

Stay Strong,

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Question: Does your family set goals together?



About Author

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at


  1. That’s amazing, Mocha Dad! Congrats to your daughter and to all of you for plowing ahead as a grounded family in the New Year.

    Goals are exciting and thrilling some days, and daunting and scary the next. I think journalism will definitely help keep you accountable. As for me, I finally buckled down and made a vision board this year-with blogging being one of my top goals to work on! Will you promise to keep us readers updated on your family’s goal setting?

    🙂 Happy new year!

      • 🙂 I took the idea from many people who said they first heard about it from reading “The Secret.” Apparently, by making a visual collage of images or words you want to see manifest in your life, you will be tapping into the universe’s law of attraction. It will help you focus on your goals, believe they are yours to achieve, and once you “see” it for yourself the universe should fall in line and provide it. Many people have pictures of houses, money or self-written checks, places to travel, physical fitness, etc.

        I’ve got a picture and cut out from a magazine article that says “Grow your business by blogging” on mine, haha.

        I’m sure you guys will do great this year!!

  2. I started documenting my progress as well. Instead of a paper journal, I use a journaling app that alerts me at 9pm every night to write in my journal. If I did nothing to get closer to my goals I write “nothing”. My idea is that I will see too many days of doing nothing and get back on track. Hopefully each day will be filled with some little achievement. Best of luck to you.

      • I use to use paper all the time as well, but kept forgetting to write in it and where I last left it. I use a journaling app called Day One. It alerts me on my phone, ipad or/and Mac. No matter what I’m doing when I get the alert I stop and type out what I did that day. To make it simpler and less time consuming, I use Markdown and a Text Expander for my entries. Makes it as easy as typing a tweet or a text.

  3. Nice to see others trying to stick to some kind of family life plan. We’re hitting on 3-4 of our 6 cylinders as a family, with a lot of work going into just those. I’m trying to keep my daily journal up to date, and pray with my kids nightly at the very least. It feels like we’re a more cohesive family for it all. And that’s the “goal”.

    The Cheeky Daddy

    • Being a more cohesive family is definitely the goal. As long as you remember that, everything else will fall into place. How do you motivate yourself to keep the journal up-to-date?

    • That is going to be quite a challenge. Consumerism is quite rampant is our society. It’s good to see someone taking a stand against it. How did your children respond when you told them about your plan?

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